Missionary Items

Columbia City, Whiteley County, Ind.
Dec. 31, 1879

Editors Deseret News:

We arrived in this city on the afternoon of the 25th of October, last. Since that date we have held 22 public meetings, five of which were held in this place, and the balance in the County township adjacent, all of which were fairly attended. We found the public mind here, as elsewhere, misinformed in relation to us as a people, socially, religiously, and politically. We feel that we have been successful to some considerable extent in correcting the public mind, and otherwise allaying prejudice. We cannot say that we feel encouraged as yet, in the hope of soon adding to our Church by baptism as this is a new field of labor. We have made a few friends, and many are friendly towards us. None but missionaries know the difficulties attending the introduction of the Gospel in new localities.

We have found in these parts two new born denominations, (that is, new to us), known as “Dunkards” and “Holiness.” The former believe in baptism face foremost, three times; the candidate for membership kneels in the water with the priest who after calling him or her by name, immerses him or her, first in the name of the Father, second in the name of the Son, and third in the name of the Holy Ghost. We understand the reason why this sect baptize in this manner is, we should go into the door and Kingdom of God face first.

The Holiness denomination believe in sanctification and justification in sanctification, that they are beyond sin, consequently cannot sin, that their religious works are indeed holy and that they are holy, and that they are without sin. This sect also believe in anointing with oil and laying on of hands for the healing of the sick of the Church, also in speaking in an unknown tongue; they say the sick have been healed in many instances, but the gift of interpretation of tongues has not as yet been made manifest.

So the ordinances of God’s Church are being imitated, and we expect it will be so nearly imitated, that many will be deceived and led astray “through the cunning and craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Mankind seem to be ready to credit and receive the opinion and creeds of men, but slow to obey the gospel of life and salvation, however simply it may be explained, and however much it may be sustained by that Book they so much believe in.

The weather so far, has been very much against us, consequently our favorite mode of traveling from place to place has been materially interrupted, otherwise we would have held more public meetings.

Yours fraternally,

E. Eldredge
L.G. Hardy

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dec. 31, 1879, 10-11]
[Deseret News, 28:802]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


Apr. 7, 1879 — list of missionaries at General Conference including “Elnathan Eldredge, Sugar House, to Indiana”

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apr. 7, 1897, 2]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


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